Monday, April 14, 2008

America’s Energy Independence Future

Memories of Long Ago.
I remember spending several weeks as a ten year old child with my favorite cousin, aunt and uncle on their farm in southwest Missouri, near the little town of Liberal. That would mean the year was 1947 and about a year before I would subsequently destroy my eyes in that same small town. But that’s another story.

Uncle Clyde and Aunt Maybelle were like my second parents and I loved them dearly. Cousin Charles was like my big brother but close enough to my own age to be a good buddy. Even though I was a city boy I delighted in following Charles around and helping him with the many chores that fell on the shoulders of a farmer’s son. I took even greater delight in “helping” Uncle Clyde with his work and he would let me ride along with him on the tractor as he toiled the fields.

One day he asked me, “I’m gonna go down to the old creek bed and make a big bang. Want to come along?” “Sure”, I said, not really knowing what he meant. So I tagged along with him as he gathered up some material and took it with him to the tractor; “Why walk when we can ride?” he chuckled as we bounced along on the rocky ground. The destination was only a few minutes from the house, even on the slowly moving tractor. “Looky here”, he said as he pointed to a pool of oily rocks. “Wow!” I exclaimed, “did you find oil?” “Naw, not really, but let’s see what happens when I blow into those rocks.” After he had hacked away for awhile with a pick-ax and then took a stick of dynamite from the tractor tool box, I realized what he had in mind. He pushed the dynamite stick as far into the muck as he could, lit the fuse, and yelled, “Let’s get out of here and over behind that tree.” “Bang!” It was a bang alright but I had expected something a lot more spectacular. I rushed over to the oily rock area, expecting to see oil gushing from the ground.

All I saw were a few more oily rocks and tar than I had seen before. “Do you think there’s real oil down there Uncle Clyde?” “naw, not really. Oil men have been here and they say what’s here ain’t possible to get out. Just part of the rocks.” I was disappointed because I’d had visions of gaining a rich uncle.

Many Years Later.
That day was almost 61 years ago and I have thought little about it since. Until today. Today I came across a web-based press release with the title,“MegaWest Commences Operations of Deerfield, Missouri Enhanced Oil Recovery Project” As the crow flies, Deerfield Missouri is probably not much more than 20 miles from Uncle Clyde’s farm. There is oil there and it has taken only 60 years to make it worth going after. Oil in Missour? You betcha! And lots of it. But the oil in Missouri is barely a drop in the bucket of the heavy oil in all the United States and that is only a drop in the bucket compared to the heavy oil in Canada. What surprised me most about this press release is not that such oil exists in Missouri, but that recovery operations are actually under way and production is expected to commence within the year. Isn’t it amazing what $100 a barrel oil will do?

Heavy Oil Reserves:
It has been estimated that known heavy oil reserves exceed known conventional oil reserves by five to one and that 80% of that heavy oil is located in Canada, Venezuela, and the United States. ( Reference source: Petroleum Equities Inc.) According to this reference, if only half the known reserves reach production, the Canadian and US reserves alone would suffice these two countries’ petroleum needs for 150 years. (Current US usage is about 7.5 billion barrels a year.) Production has become more economically feasible with new technology and the current high price of crude assures a boom in heavy oil recovery.

Oil Shale:
And then, there’s oil shale in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. This is also a potential source of new petroleum reserves but technology and economics are not yet available to make this source immediately viable. But it’s there. It’s like money in the bank for our nation’s future needs. The recoverable oil from those three states alone would add more than another 100 years to our nation’s oil supply needs. (Reference,

Today’s Faltering Economy.
Now, what does Ozarkcountry Common Sense tell you? It tells me that the recent housing bust slowed down the economy a bit. But if it had not been for the sky-rocketing cost of oil the housing problem would have been little more than a blip in our economy. But now our nation is bleeding. And the bleeding is not so much because of the high price of oil, but because those petrol dollars are being handed over to foreign nations, most of which are our current or potential enemies. Well-meaning but misguided environmentalists further aggravate the problem by standing in the way of drilling for conventional oil off-shore and in Alaska. This bleeding of America plays right into the hands of Gore and the sheep that blindly follow his religion of man-caused global warming.

Hope For the Future.
Don’t be downhearted, don’t despair. Ozarkcountry Common Sense tells you that the American people are smarter than Gore; those who have been blinded will awaken and see again. They will recognize that the current world’s wheels turn on oil and that there is no quick alternative; time and technology will provide for the future. Meanwhile, once again, the entrepreneurs of the New World will respond to the current oil crunch and this nation will regain its energy-rich prosperity. Unless evil OPEC once again recognizes the threat and drastically reduces its oil prices to discourage our more expensive oil production, we will never again see “cheap” oil. But that’s OK, you’ll get used to it and you and our nation can live with it so long as those new petrol dollars end up in places like Missouri.

Ozarkcountry Man says, “God bless you and God bless America”.